Police and RSPCA appeal after geese shot dead with 'high powered rifle' in High Peak - DISTRESSING IMAGES
Police and the RSPCA are appealing for information after a number of geese were shot dead or badly injured in the High Peak.
The charity was first called to reports that a number of Canadian geese had been shot at Birch Vale Reservoir, on Saturday, April 13 at around 6.30pm.
On that occasion the bodies of two dead geese were recovered by an RSPCA inspector and another was rescued - but due to the severity of its injuries it had to be put to sleep to end its suffering. Another injured bird escaped and its body was recovered the following day.
The bodies of the birds were taken to an RSPCA rescue centre where X-rays revealed they had been shot with a high-powered rifle.
Then on Easter Sunday (April 21) at around 7pm the charity received reports of further shootings after residents reported hearing loud gunshots.
On this occasion an RSPCA inspector found another four dead birds which had been shot dead.
Inspector Heather Morris, who attended the latest incident, said: “This is a popular area especially at weekends for families, dog walker, runners and fishermen so it is concerning that there is someone armed with this type of weapon taking shots in the area.
“On the first occasion we received reports that three young men were seen in the area believed to be armed with air rifles and we would be keen to trace them.
“It is awful that so many birds were killed and it is awful that some were so badly injured they would have suffered terribly.
“I would like people to be vigilant in the area as these shootings have happened previously at weekends.
“I am also appealing for anyone with information to contact the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.”
Derbyshire Constabulary Wildlife Officers are also aware of the shootings and are investigating alongside the RSPCA.
A police spokesman said: “We are working with the RSPCA after receiving reports that geese have been shot dead or left suffering by someone using a high powered air rifle in this area.
“We would appeal for anyone with information to call either the RSPCA or 101 and quote incident 064-210419.”